Bible Studies

What Should My Response to Suffering Be?

2 Thessalonians 1:3-8 NRSV
We must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of everyone of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith during all your persecutions and the afflictions that you are enduring. This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, and is intended to make you worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering. For it is indeed just of God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to the afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

It’s interesting that Paul doesn’t address the persecutions of the Thessalonians in the same way that we often address persecutions. If you think about it, most pastors tell us that our faith is exemplified when we take authority over Satan and believe that our trials will disappear based on God’s love. But Paul, rather than preaching that, says that faith is based on persevering through afflictions.

We need to ask ourselves what we believe.

Rebuilding Your Old Ruins in Christ JesusPremium Content

And they shall rebuild the old ruins,
They shall raise up the former desolations,
And they shall repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations.
Isaiah 61:4, NKJV

This Scripture really spoke to me this morning as I thought of how so many of us come from places of brokenness, of loss, of deep wounding. We can sometimes wonder if wholeness is a real possibility for us again, or is it just a pipe dream?

I do not believe Jesus is the Author of pipe dreams. Nor is He the author of confusion and the chaos that comes from our addictions and sin and life-controlling problems. But He is the Author of Life, the Author of the rich, eternal, abundant Life that flows forth from within His Spirit and up into our hearts and spirits as He pours His Love and Hope into our hearts:

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The Parent's Duty

Do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4

The desire for and love to children, are implanted in our nature by our good and great Creator; and children are given to us to be brought up for the Lord. They are His property; He only lends them to us to enjoy, to train, and prepare for future life. Children involve a great responsibility. They are immortal. They are depraved. They are ignorant. They need the most tender, wise, and constant training. Every parent is accountable to God for the manner in which he educates and brings up his children; and that account must be rendered under the most solemn circumstances.

Psalms for Eating Disorder RecoveryPremium Content

If you are looking for strength, hope or comfort in your eating disorder recovery, consider looking to the book of Psalms. May the Lord strengthen you and give you peace as He speaks to you through His Word.

For hope and strength, you can go to Psalm 46. From verse 1 which says, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble" to verse 11 which states, "The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress" you can go to this Psalm when you need to know that God is with you and is strengthening you. You can find more of the same in Psalm 121. From verses 1 and 2, which declares "I lift up my eyes to the hills-where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth" to verses 5 and 6 which reassure, "The LORD watches over you-the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night" this short eight verse Psalm offers a lot of hope and strength.

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Attributes of Thankfulness

Colossians 3:12-17 NRSV
As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

November, traditionally in America, is the month where we turn our thoughts toward being thankful. One of the things I’ve been enjoying on Facebook are the many who are daily listing the things for which they are thankful. In a cynical world, thankfulness silences the critics and raises one’s spirit.

Profiting from the ScripturesPremium Content

(1) For one thing, begin reading your Bible this very day. The way to do a thing--is to do it; and the way to read the Bible--is actually to read it! It is not merely meaning, or wishing, or resolving, or intending, or thinking about it--which will advance you one step. You must positively read. There is no royal road in this matter, any more than in the matter of prayer. If you cannot read yourself, you must persuade somebody else to read it to you. But one way or another, through eyes or ears--the words of Scripture must actually pass before your mind.

(2) For another thing, read the Bible with an earnest desire to understand it. Do not think for a moment, that the great object is to turn over a certain quantity of printed paper, and that it matters nothing whether you understand it or not. Some ignorant people seem to imagine, that all is done if they advance so many chapters every day, though they may not have a notion what they are all about, and only know that they have pushed on their bookmark ahead so many pages. This is turning Bible reading into a mere ritual form. It is almost as bad as the Popish habit of 'buying

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What Shall I Bring?Premium Content

Deuteronomy 16:13-17 NIV
Celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing floor and your winepress. Be joyful at your Feast--you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, and the Levites, the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns. For seven days celebrate the Feast to the LORD your God at the place the LORD will choose. For the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete. Three times a year all your men must appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Tabernacles. No man should appear before the LORD empty-handed: Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the LORD your God has blessed you.

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The Husband's DutyPremium Content

Husbands, love your wives — even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it. Ephesians 5:25

This language is especially addressed to Christians; the Holy Spirit speaks on the wife's behalf. The husband and his wife are one. The union is most intimate and important, and it is for life. It should therefore be formed with much prayer, prudence, and reflection. And being formed, each party should strive to make it a means of blessing to the other, by closely attending to the precepts of Holy Scripture. No godly man should, under any pretense, marry an unsaved woman; for it is impossible to obey the precepts of the gospel, under such circumstances.

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When Bad Things Happen to Good People

Job 42:7 MRSV
After the Lord had spoken these words to Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite: "My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has."

Job was a righteous man, a man who loved and served God with all his heart and might. He was a man who had prospered in an earthly sense, owning many flocks and having twelve children. He also was a man blessed with good health. All of this God allowed Satan to take from Job. Job’s life went, in a matter of days, from being comfortable and happy to being alone and miserable.

There is a saying: Bad things happen to good people.

What is the condition of my heart?Premium Content

Psalm 86:11 NRSV
Teach me Your way, O Lord,
that I may walk in Your truth;
give me an undivided heart to revere Your name.

What is the condition of my heart?

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